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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  December 17, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EST

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hi, everybody. i'm thomas roberts on a regular monday morning at this time, the halls of connecticut sandy hook elementary would be filled with the sounds of children and their teachers. however, today, that school remains a crime scene, closed indefinitely just days after 20 small children and six educators were murdered, brutally extinguished in an act of violence that has gripped the hearts and minds of this nation. 26 souls lost and today, the first funerals will be held for two of the youngest victims. 6-year-old jack pinto, a new york giants fan, and noah pozner, whose twin sister survived the shooting. we are also learning new information about the connecticut state police investigation, including that the gunman, adam lanza, had enough ammunition if given more time to shoot hundreds of
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students in the halls of sandy hook. >> every single facet of the weapons will be analyzed. every single round of ammunition will be looked at and examined for any kind of physical evidence. i alluded yesterday to the volume of rounds, for example, that were seized or recovered. each singular round will be examined. >> president obama last night visited with families who lost loved ones inside that school. here, he is holding slain principal dawn hochsprung's baby granddaughter. the president sat among the mourners of newtown at the vigil and told them they are not alone in their grief. >> all across this land of ours, we have wept with you. we pulled our children tight. >> in this speech, one he penned largely on his own, the president promised the people of that community that their loss would not go unanswered.
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>> we can't tolerate this anymore. these tragedies must end. and to end them, we must change. >> the question is, will newtown's tragedy be the tipping point in a country that has failed to respond when lives were lost so many times before. the debate ignited over gun control once again, but this time, with a very different feel. >> conversation we have to have along with guns, along with military style semi-automatic assault weapons with these just gr grotesque magazines. >> very powerful signs we entered a different era in this discussion. >> i don't want us to lose the hurt and the anger that we feel now and our resolve to do something. >> joining me with the very latest on the investigation is nbc news justice correspondent, pete williams. pete, where are connecticut state police focusing today as they try to uncover more behind
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the reasons of adam lanza? >> well, there's a huge wide range of what they're doing, thomas. they're interviewing witnesses still. they haven't even gotten to interviewing the children yet. that's going to be a very difficult process to do, very delicate one is the way they described it. there were two adult survivors. they have the history of the weapons, the history of the ammunition, all of that to look at. now, the hopes were fairly high that they might have a breakthrough with adam lanza's computer that was at his mother's home at the scene where he shot his mother before this all began. but there's some pessimism about that now because he damaged the computer, took the hard drive out of the computer, damaged that further. they knew that when they got it. they thought well, you know, maybe we can get something out of it but i'm told the initial attempts to get information have been unsuccessful. they will obviously try to continue to work at that.
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but they have yet found no answer to the question that everybody wants to know, which is why did he do this. >> nbc's pete williams. thank you for your reporting. we appreciate it. joining me now from newtown is connecticut senator john mckinney, who represents the area of connecticut that includes newtown. he sat next to the president at last night's vigil. sir, thank you for joining me. as we speak, we are going to be scrolling the names of victims that we know who are going to be buried this week, as we talked about today we have two of the youngest victims that are going to be laid to rest. but the hartford courant listed the obituaries of the victims and we know those start today. you attended this vigil and so many of us watched last night. you met with some of these families. so talk to us about where these families are in their healing process, how they are coping as they prepare to say good-bye. >> well, thomas, it's impossible to explain. as a father of three kids myself, i can't imagine the grief they're feeling. i will say, though, that having the president in newtown last
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night was a very important step in our healing process. i saw not just a president last night, but a father, and someone really hurt to his core and his presence there last night i think meeting with the families of the victims of these young kids, having everyone come together last night. the room was filled with first responders, teachers, administrators, other students from that school, was an important part of the healing process. >> sir, you sat next to the president last night. you talk about what it meant to the people of newtown, certainly what it meant to the country, to watch this. but not only did it bring comfort, but does it bring a sense of resolve that something will come out of this? the highest price paid to so many of these families in that small community there, that something of change will come out of this? >> i think there will be. i did get a sense of resolve, that's a very good word, with the president, with our governor, with other leaders across the state of connecticut.
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our elected representatives down in washington. the people of newtown are strong. they are a people of great faith, they are a small knit community. they will not retreat from this. in many ways, they will get stronger, and they will want us to make sure not that we use this, but that we learn from it and make ourselves a better society, a safer society. it's an important discussion to have and we will have it. as one who has been fortunate enough to represent newtown for 14 years in the state senate, i'm going to make sure that we have that discussion on many fronts. >> sir, do you think that newtown is ready to be used as a national example of why we need better gun regulation in this country? as unfortunate as it seems to politicize this heinous act, as young parents across this country, future parents across this country want to know that their children are safe when they go to school. do you think the town of newtown is ready to carry the burden of
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knowing that it needs to be used as an example? >> well, thomas, they are carrying an incredible burden that none of us want them to bear and they don't deserve. i don't believe they want to be used just like any community would want to be used. we need to let this community heal. we need to lay to rest these 26 souls. we need to allow all of the kids and the teachers and administrators to heal. i think it's incumbent upon those of us in elected office to take their message forward, give them the time to heal and we need to lead, and we will lead on a host of issues from gun control to mental health to safety within our schools, on a host of issues. you know, in addition, i dropped one child off at school today, the others took the bus. we need to be better people. we need to be better parents. those aren't things we can pass
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by laws, but those are things that we need to do to honor these victims. >> connecticut state senator john mckinney. sir, thank you for your time this morning. i do appreciate it. >> thank you, thomas. want to bring in today's power panel. congressman gerald nadler of new york, jackie hilling and ezra klein, msnbc policy analyst and "washington post" columnist. jackie, i want to start with you. last night was the fourth time we as a country have watched this president have to address a national tragedy like this. i want to remind everybody of the last three times that we have seen the president take to a mic to comfort the country. >> it may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy, but this much we do know. no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts. >> this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should. let's make sure it's worthy of
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those we have lost. >> i hope that over the next several days, next several weeks and next several months, we all reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence. >> can we recognize the president's words last night that enough is enough, and that something will come out of this, because right now, the country is in need of something stronger, and some resolve as we just point out with the state senator mckinney. >> i think senator mckinney was really saying what's on the mind of all people in our country at this point. i think the president put it very aptly into words last night. can we honestly say we are doing enough in this country to keep all of our children safe, and i think clearly, the answer in the country is no, we're not. if something like this happens in our midst and we're standing on the sidelines, it's imperative on our part to do something about it. >> congressman, i want to remind everybody exactly what the president said last night. the strong words that he used while consoling the country and
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the people of newtown but basically calling this country to action. take a listen. >> no single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. but that can't be an excuse for inaction. surely we can do better than this. >> surely we can do better than this. sir, seven members of congress from both chambers have now called for action. senator dianne feinstein appearing on "meet the press" saying she wants to introduce assault weapons ban legislation on the first day of the new congress. the phrase "tipping point" has been used a lot in connection with the newtown tragedy. is this really a tipping point? can we expect something better out of our elected leaders like yourself come next year? >> i hope so, but we won't know until the facts prove it. every time there's a tragedy like this, people engage in similar rhetoric, although i think the president's statements were very strong.
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i fully expect the president in early january to come out and recommend and put the weight of his office behind some strong gun control legislation, and you know, we have used any number of political excuses for these years. people have been afraid of the leadership of the nra who really have to be characterized as enablers of mass murder and will continue to be so if they oppose reasonable restrictions on gun violence. you know, on friday, the same day as the tragedy that occurred in newtown, a maniac attacked an elementary school in china with a knife. he wounded 22 children but they all lived. they will all come home. the difference here is that the maniac had a gun and 26 people are dead. in china, he had a knife. 22 children were wounded but they're all going to be okay. it is our fault if we continue to let this insanity reign in this country.
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we know what to do about it. we have death by gun rates 15, 20 times more than any industrialized country. we know why. we have to stop this. >> ezra, there's a new "chicago trib" editorial out today by dick durbin talking about what will it take. what holds us back are political organizations that are well funded and continue to resist reasonable limitations. there is a parallel between the gridlock in washington and the erie silence in congress as the list of horrific gun crimes grows by the day. an obvious reference there to the nra. there were no supported senators of the nra that would go on "meet the press" this weekend. the nra has been oddly mum in this, telling nbc news they want to wait to remark on this until more facts come to light. but as you pointed out in a recent editorial yourself, as we look back on the assault weapons ban between 1994 and 2004, we saw such a decrease in the
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amount of gun crimes in this country, yet we let that lapse. we got away from it. how easy is it going to be to utilize what is -- the knowledge that's coming out of this tragedy in newtown to revisit that and get something done? >> i would never say doing anything in washington is easy at all. look, we are going to have to do something. i'm not a huge fan actually of the assault weapons ban. this gets to something broader i think that needs to be talked about. we need to do something. we need action. you keep hearing that. we also need to do the right thing. we need things that will actually help the assault weapons ban, i don't think the evidence is very good that it did much to curb gun violence during its tenure. i'm not saying it wasn't a step in the right direction but it was rife with loopholes, shot through with ways to get around it. it grandfathered everything in. one thing that has happened particularly the last ten years, as in particular democrats have begun to believe the nra is all powerful, is that a lot of the thinking on gun control has
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simply stagnated. there hasn't been a lot of new fresh thinking and not enough integration of new imported research into what we can do. so as we get into this conversation, one hope that i have at least is that we have enough time for it or we make enough time for it or make enough space for it that we figure out how to do a better job on this than we did frankly in the '90s and frankly, such that it actually will have not just an effect on the mass shootings we have been seeing recently but the more than 12,000 gun homicides a year, 8,000 gun suicides a year, about 600 inadvertent gun deaths a year and the 66,000 gun injuries. spree shootings are really not the only problem here, although they are the most epically horrific. >> what ezra brings up, when we use the example of the assault weapons ban, maybe it wasn't the greatest piece of legislation because of the hoopholloopholes but here we are ten years after it lapses, there are bills in
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congress that could be acted on immediately. among them, the fixed gun checks act of 2011 and the preventing gun violence act on which right now, there are these eight other ones i'm not going to go over but we could see congress act on it. meanwhile, it's coming up on the two year anniversary of your colleague, gabrielle giffords, nearly being assassinated by doing a congress on your corner at a supermarket in arizona. so when one of your own is nearly assassinated, yet congress does nothing, how are we to think as americans that something will get done now using this latest tragedy as the catalyst? >> i don't know that we should think that anything is going to happen now. we have to make it happen. congress is not going to act unless the president and the people push it very strongly. in the past election, i don't think too many political people are aware of this, the nra proved to be pretty much of a paper tiger. most of the candidates they supported, lost. most of the candidates they
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opposed, won. that has to get out there. we have to put real pressure on our members of congress, many of whom will do whatever is the easiest things in their districts. maybe afraid of primary fights or general election. we have to say enough is enough. the president's got to lead and those of us who can have to speak out, as i am doing now. the fact that one rather mild gun control measure didn't solve the problem is no excuse. we know a lot of things to do. we know the fact that a country like germany has 158 gun deaths a year and we have 9,000 to 10,000 a year. we know what has to be done. i mean, if we could really do what we should do, i would make it a crime to possess, after a period of buy-backs, a crime to possess an assault rifle or high capacity magazine. as it is a crime to possess drugs. that's certainly more harmful than drugs. that's not likely to happen but the least we can do is ban the
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sale of assault weapons, ban the sale of high ammunition clips, get rid of the gun show loophole under which anyone can buy a gun -- >> on site. >> -- on site at a gun show. ban gun trafficking, that is limit sale of guns to one a month or something so you can't go to virginia, buy 40 weapons and ship it illegally into new york where you have stronger gun control laws. these are things we can do, we know to do, and we know will greatly reduce the number of innocent people killed every year. they won't eliminate it but they will greatly reduce it. i was struck by the fact that everybody is going to investigate adam lanza and so forth. we know what adam lanza was. he had a mental problem. there are people in this country who are going to have mental problems. we don't know how to stop that. we do know how to disarm them. >> congressman, thanks so much. jackie, thanks to you as well. we're out of time. this is just the beginning of a much-needed conversation that's going to continue. later this hour, we will be speaking with the mayor of
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danbury, connecticut. coming up also a programming note for you. senator dianne feinstein will be on "andrea mitchell reports" today at 1:00 p.m. eastern time. as i said, we are going to have the danbury, connecticut mayor coming up, mark boughton, who knew the principal of sandy hook elementary school. our big question today is does the right to bear arms trump the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? coming up, a chance to speak with republican congresswoman nan heyworth of new york to find out what she thinks. first, a live look at capitol hill. flags flying at half staff to honor victims of friday's school shooting. they will be lowered until tomorrow at sunset. begin. tomato, obviously. haha. there's more than that though, there's a kick to it. wahlalalalallala! smooth, but crisp. it's kind of like drinking a food that's a drink, or a drink that's a food, woooooh! [ male announcer ] taste it and describe the indescribable. could've had a v8. stop! stop! stop! come back here!
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i say good luck to the gun lobbyists.
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good luck to the hollywood lawyer who tries to blunt the righteous anger of millions of parents by hiding behind twisted readings of our bill of rights. >> that was former republican congressman and host of "morning joe" joe scarborough with a plea for sanity in the gun debate. the tragedy in connecticut has certainly put the partisan bickering over the so-called fiscal cliff into stark perspective but congress still is trying to get a deal done before the end of the year. this is house speaker john boehner offering to push any fight over the debt ceiling off for at least a year in hopes of infusing fresh energy into the stalled negotiations. congresswoman nan heyworth is a republican in new york and joins me in studio to talk about it more. nice to have you here. before we get to the fiscal cliff, obviously the story that's dominating the headlines is what we have been covering out of newtown. i want to get your reaction to this, because the latest shooting from newtown, connecticut has put a lot of people who have been supported by the nra up for question about what that support means.
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you received a 92% rating and contributed $2500, they did, to your campaign. does what we witnessed in newtown give you pause for concern and make you reflect upon what it means for second amendment rights for americans in this country based on what we know so far? >> well, my district is just neighbors, the connecticut area where the shootings took place, and in fact, ann marie murphy was from a town in our district. my heart goes out to these families. obviously, two of those little boys are being buried today. there is going to be time for a lot of -- we do need to have some very serious policy discussions in all aspects of this, including, of course, the cultural factors that go into the kind of behavior that adam
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lanza manifested. clearly he meant to do grievous harm. he did, obviously he had access to weapons that he absolutely should not have had access to within that home. >> but if it is deemed that he has a mental illness and a propensity that led to this behavior by having easy access to assault weapons, even for a person that is deemed to be sane in this country, should we as americans have easy access to buy assault weapons at our leisure? is that our right? >> well, the second amendment does say that we have the right to bear arms against tyranny. that is a cherished concept in our country. responsible gun owners are not the people who commit these acts and -- >> lanza's mother was deemed a responsible gun owner. >> but clearly, there are some issues of responsibility there and you know, we have a lot of
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levels on which we have to discuss these things. a culture of gratification that creates the kind of impulse -- or fosters impulsivity that leads young men, typically, to do these hideous things and not only as we know with weapons, but also with incendiaries, with other means at their disposal. we have a lot of things to talk about as a culture. there's no question. >> this story has maybe taken a little of the media pressure off of questions for people like yourself about what's going on in washington, d.c. to maybe get something done about the fiscal cliff. certainly maybe by the end of the week, before everyone is supposed to go home for the christmas holiday. are you upset by john boehner giving up debt ceiling limit for a year and offering that as a branch of discussionary tactic
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for the fiscal cliff? >> well, i know the speaker pretty well, and i know that he is absolutely sincere about wanting to do the very best that we can together under the circumstances that we face for the american people. so it would be really great if we could get this issue resolved before december 31st, and i think he's trying every way he can to reach out to the president and to the senate -- >> are you upset by his tactic, at what he offered? >> no. no. these are ongoing discussions. he is sincere about doing what is best given what we face. the best thing we could do, the very best thing we as a nation could do would be to grow our economy more. what we really want to see is 23 million unemployed and underemployed americans back to work. that's the big question that i haven't heard a satisfactory answer from frankly from the
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president, because increasing taxes, imposing very heavy burdens of new regulations, are not going to help our businesses, small ones and big ones, grow and hire. i think those are serious issues that really need discussion now and for the future. >> congresswoman hayworth, thank you for joining me. i appreciate your time today. >> thank you. at the new york stock exchange this morning, a moment of silence to honor the victims of sandy hook elementary school. what people around the country are doing to pay tribute. the acts of kindness people are doing. you may also notice a lot of people wearing green and white today. those are the sandy hook elementary school colors. still ahead, parents across this land dropped their kids off at school today, asking themselves is my child's school safe. we look at whether any amount of security could have prevented a tragedy like we're seeing in newtown. we are gathered here today to
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i heard -- heard what sounded like a popping sound, and then some noises coming over the loudspeaker sounded like weeping. >> we were holding a parent meeting. many of the leaders of the building were around the table and we heard the first gunshots and we knew exactly they were gunshots. >> i then at that point said, you know, we've got to do this lockdown. >> they were hearing screaming out in the hall and they were hearing more popping sounds, gunshot sounds, and the sounds over the loudspeaker and they began to get upset. >> then immediately, the leaders in our building did what they needed to do and they ran out of the door to go take care of the situation. >> coming out of newtown are not only stories of tragedy, but stories of heroism. educators who made the ultimate
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sacrifice for children. president obama paid a special tribute to them last night. >> dawn hochsprung and mary sherlach, vickie soto, lauren rousseau, rachel davino and anne murphy. >> joining me now from newtown is mayor mark boughton of danbury, connecticut. thank you for being here. i understand you personally knew the principal there at sandy hook, dawn hochsprung. the principal who is being described as someone who sprang into action and was very safety-conscious at her short tenure at sandy hook. what other insights can you give us, the type of educator that dawn was? >> well, dawn and i worked in the same system back in the late '90ers for the city of danbury.
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we were in different buildings but our paths did cross from time to time. just an incredibly brave woman who really had a glow about her. she had a vivaciousness about her. she always put children first. it was very clear in any of her interactions that i saw her or was involved with her that kids were first. for that reason alone, it doesn't surprise me that she took the steps that she took on friday. >> i think for people out there wanting to learn more about dawn and the person she was could look at her twitter feed to find out how proud she was of the school that she was overseeing now and how special the kids were to her there. as you recall your time working together in danbury, that is your town, one thing people may not know around the country is there are police officers at every school today. is that more of the presence of mind for parents or students and educators alike, and how long do you think that that presence might be necessary?
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>> we have officers in every building across the city for the rest of the week. part of that is to give a better sense of security and safety for educators, for parents, for children, to sort of raise the flag to say that we're thinking about you, we're watching, but i have to tell you, as a matter of course throughout the year, we're always particularly when school's in session cognizant of where our buildings are, cognizant of where our people are, and we very much work on drilling mass evacuation plans and having our plans in place for an active shooter scenario like took place on friday. i have to tell you, that's what saved lives in newtown, is that that staff had a plan. they executed their plan and they got as many of those kids as they possibly could out of harm's way. that's why it's so critical to do that preplanning and communicate that planning to parents, staff and the community at large. >> sir, as people talk about the preplanning, what's going on in our nation's schools, what's going on in connecticut schools, a lot of people say that certainly gun advocates say that maybe this situation would be different if there was a principal like dawn or someone
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else that was armed in that school. do you think that some type of federal marshaling system is necessary for the elementary schools in america at this point given the rate of the types of events that we have been covering, especially given what we've now witnessed in newtown? >> i think that it really is not a way we want to live, by having officers necessarily in every building everywhere across the country. i think there's a much broader question and i think that debate will start later on next week, in the months to follow, in the years to follow, because we have this toxic soup, if you will, of people with severe mental health issues that aren't being managed, aren't being cared in the appropriate way, and easy access to weapons. when you put those things together, you have a perfect storm of these kinds of scenarios and we have seen it play out across the country. how many more times do we have to sit here and have conversations about these heroic teachers and staff members before this country decides to take steps to protect our children.
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>> mayor, appreciate your time today. thank you. up next, keeping all of our kids safe. what schools are doing for that extra bit of protection today in the wake of the sandy hook tragedy. you can prevent gas with beano meltaways, or treat gas with these after you get it. now that's like sunblock before or sun burn cream later.
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welcome back. just got this important confirmation that the president and house speaker john boehner are meeting over the fiscal cliff negotiations. this comes on the heels of john boehner proposing raising tax rates on an income over $1 million or more and republicans have upped their revenue target from $800 billion to around $1 trillion. again, the president and john boehner in a meeting right now about the fiscal cliff. we'll follow that for you and bring you any details that may come out of that meeting. but we get back to our lead story and this being the first school day since friday's tragedy in newtown. extra security measures are being taken at schools all across the country because of what happened there. among them, the chicago school district is urging principals to conduct lockdown drills. in suburban riverside, illinois,
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police are stationed in front of schools today to reassure the parents there. los angeles police are stepping up patrols at schools and so are boston police. here in new york, schools are encouraged to review their safety measures. that's just some of the examples taking place nationwide. joining me to talk more about this, steve perry, the founder and principal of capital prep school in connecticut, and i'm also joined by renowned mental health expert, psychologist, jeff gardere, also an msnbc news contributor. good to have you here. the kids where you are in newtown are not in school, in fact, they are burying two of their own, two of the 6-year-olds that were lost on friday. millions of parents today are bringing their kids back to school, left with a lot of questions and concerns, wondering is this school going to be safe for them. my sister called me today, my niece and nephew had a lot of questions. she was trying to reassure them and she's left with a heavy heart but she said she was assured by people like you
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coming on tv trying to help guide them through what they can talk about. so what are you recommending as parents talk to their kids? >> one of the first things i want people to understand is that your children are safe in school. they had more of a probability of being hurt on the ride to school in the car than they do being in school. even at sandy hook, there are approximately 400 children there and sadly, 20 perished but the staff and faculty acted bravely and thoughtfully and saved a lot of lives. so we know that even the worst of circumstances, many of our educators are trained and prepared for these sad circumstances. what we've done in our school is work to keep normalcy. i went into my pre-k and kindergarten class today and they were singing the songs they would typically song, they were reading the books they are typically reading. i encourage my colleagues, when a question comes up, answer it but answer it in broad terms. big broad terms. almost cartoonish terms. so that you don't go too far
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into the weeds. we don't understand what happened. we cannot expect our children to understand it either. >> doctor, as we talk about having the people that we trust most with our children, those inside the schools being trained and prepared, what's your take on the possibility that we might be evolving into a society where we need something like federal air marshals, people that are undercover, in schools, carrying weapons to protect our kids from something like this happening? >> i understand the fear. i don't want the fear to turn into hysteria. we have to make our children feel safe and i don't know that having armed people walking around schools in uniforms or even in disguise is going to help. you would have had to have had individuals who were standing at the door with guns drawn. this gentleman had four weapons on him. he could have gotten into any building of any type in america. we have to be mindful of the fact that your children are safe and loved and they are going to be challenged in their schools. i'm more concerned about the angry parent who comes in, is upset that her child had a detention at this point than i
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am an individual coming in. this individual was dealing with something that is beyond our scope of comprehension. we have safe schools. we do. 65 million children were in school on friday, public schools, and 65 million are there today. >> so the shooter in this was in school not so long ago himself, growing up. for parents out there that might be concerned about the mental health of their young one in their lives, what is the recommendation, suggestions for them to get ahold of it? >> the recommendation is to not be in denial. it's very difficult to acknowledge that your child may be different or that your child may have certain challenges. we know that there is a real challenge in that the mental health system is not geared up to work with, for example, young men and women but especially young men at the onset of very severe mental illness such as a schizophrenia. so we have to get them diagnosed right away. we have to make sure that they see a psychiatrist, perhaps, if medication may help them, but there are side effects that we
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need to work with that. psychotherapy must be part of that. we've got to be consistent and we have to convince our kids that in getting this treatment that they can have normal lives. >> we're hearing a lot about hollywood also, about video games. is this a red herring or something we really need to take into cultural consideration of what we're witnessing? >> video games by themselves, yes, they are very violent. i believe sometimes they are too violent so you have to work with your kids and play a mix of video games. you want them to have fun. but the important thing is if your child is at risk for violence, you see that the child is a loner, doesn't have friends, or may have issues with rage or impulse control, then certainly you don't want to heat up the situation by having them live in a virtual reality of very violent video games. >> thank you so much for joining me, gentlemen. i appreciate your time. we asked and you answered. does the right to bear arms trump the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? from trisha mitchell, when the
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right to bear arms takes away the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, especially for 20 innocent children, the answer is emphatically and unequivocally no. from les, we are a country that has thousands of gun related deaths while others barely hit 500. keep the comments coming in to us on twitter or facebook. why do trust duracell to power their donated toys? duralock power preserve. it locks in power for up to 10 years in storage. guaranteed. duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere. i get congested. but now, with zyrtec-d®, i have the proven allergy relief of zyrtec®, plus a powerful decongestant. zyrtec-d® lets me breath freer, so i can love the air. [ male announcer ] zyrtec-d®. behind the pharmacy counter. no prescription needed. [ male announcer ] zyrtec-d®. behind the pharmacy counter. that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses.
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whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ breathes deeply ] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth! secretary of state hillary clinton is still recovering at home today from the concussion she suffered last week after fainting and falling. the state department says the concussion is not severe, that the secretary of state became dehydrated after suffering from a stomach virus and she will be working from home. all of that will keep her from testifying before congress on thursday as planned about the deadly september 11th attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. joining me now is former state department egypt officer joel ruben. good to have you here. this long-awaited independent report on the attack that killed
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u.s. ambassador chris stevens and three others in benghazi is going to be presented to the state department today. secretary clinton is not going to be there. is it crucial that she testify at some point in all of this, because this is another example of where she's not appearing before these meetings, before these committees. >> well, thomas, this is a very important week for the accountability review board. the results are coming out today to the state department. they'll be in open session later in the week with the two top deputies to secretary clinton. it is unfortunate that she's ill and certainly to have her forcefully communicate the results of the report would be excellent. she is the best at this, the best that the administration has to offer, but her deputies are very strong and they will make the arguments that need to be made. >> all right. so the senate committee, headed by john kerry, who is expected to succeed clinton as secretary of state, said in her absence on thursday that it was understandable.
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however, the republican chairman on all of this is not so kind, saying that it's unfortunate that she can't testify. this problem with security, though, at the embassies will not fall in kerry's lap, so to speak. will overshadow his confirmation hearings if he is nominated to this role? >> this issue has been politicized from the beginning, and the benefit of the accountability review board is to depoliticize it, make sure that our diplomats in the field have the resources they need, and this investigation has moved very swiftly, so it should be kept in that vein. tom pickering, who is leading the board, he wants -- was the boss to chris stevens who was killed in benghazi. this is very personal, and it should be kept ate level where people understand that these diplomats, the review board experts, they're providing the best advice to make sure our diplomats in the field are safe. >> joel ruben, joel, thank you, sir. i appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. governor nikki haley will
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announce her pick to replace senator jim demint. congressman tim scott is going to be her choice. he is going to be the first african-american republican to represent the south in the senate since reconstruction.
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>> it is important to remind you that throughout the sandy hook ordeal there have been acts of kindness, big and small, that remind us that we are in this together, in our grieving, our healing as a country. there is the chicago-based lutheran church charities that send a team of comfort dogs, golden retrooefrz, to newtown to offer relief to those affected by the tragedy, and the anonymous donor from north carolina who donated 26 christmas trees to the community, one for each victim of friday's shooting. the nfl paying tribute to
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newtown. every team took part in a moment of silence before the games to reflect on the tragedy, and in foxboro, mass, the new england patriots sent up 26 flares in honor of the 26 victims. in st. louis the players wearing number 26 from both teams joined hands to symbolize the 26 lives lost. the new york giants wore the initials s.h.e.s. on their helmets to show their support for the sandy hook elementary school. giants wide receiver viktor cruz wrote jack pinto's name on his cleats in honor of the 6-year-old who is going to be buried today who was one of his biggest fans. back in newtown two 12-year-old girls, twins, releasing 26 balloons in memory of those lost. many of them their friends and neighbors. an official fund for the victim's families in the community has now been set up by the united way of western connecticut, and you can get with the sandy hook school support fund by going to the website that you see there on the screen. thanks for your time today. that's going to wrap things up for me. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern time.
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now with alex wagner comes your way with more as we cover this national tragedy. alex. >> hey, thomas. we are following developments surrounding the tragedy in newtown. we will check in with our correspondents for the latest from the community and discuss the national implications with governor ed rendell, howard wolfson, joey reid. plus, congressman john larson discusses his time yesterday with president obama and the white house's new window for reform. we will also examine the role mental health plays in mass shootings with virginia tech survivor and braid way campaign assistant director collin goddard. as the nation comes together over the tragedy in sandy hook, how does it affect deal-making on capitol hill? we'll get an update on the fiscal cliff. all that when "now" starts after the break. [ male announcer ] this is bob,
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